Judge for yourself whether or not the new 2006 BMW 3-Series is as handsome as before. In our opinion, it's not as appealing as the 2002-05 edition, which itself was not as attractive as the 1999-2001 model. However, it's not ugly, as many have feared.
Sanity returns to BMW design with the new 2006 3-Series, which debuted at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show. Aside from a few Bangled details, the new Three is evolutionary, modern, and tasteful.
No bustle-butt here. The 2006 BMW 3-Series features four character lines on its flanks, which serve to add welcome definition to the rocker panels, doors, and rear quarters.
BMW makes the controversial iDrive control panel optional on the 2006 3-Series. It comes standard and only with the available navigation system. We'll buy a map, instead, and concentrate on driving, not changing radio stations.
Leatherette (vinyl) upholstery is standard on the 2006 BMW 3-Series, with leather offered as an option. Real burl walnut wood trim is included, with optional aluminum or poplar natural wood available to decorate the cabin.
Rear seat passengers get more room than before, a welcome improvement. A power rear window sunshade is optional to keep the interior cool or to add privacy.
Every 2006 BMW 3-Series comes with side-impact airbags for the front seat occupants, and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions. Stability and traction control is standard equipment, and the braking system features several new safety technologies that are sure to come in handy.
Two versions of the 2006 BMW 3-Series will go on sale in May of 2005. The 325i sedan and the 330i sedan both get a standard 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, but in the 325i is makes 215 horsepower and in the 330i it makes 255 horsepower. The slowest 325i with an automatic transmission accelerates to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, according to BMW.
Photos courtesy of BMW